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’Employee confidence makes business sense’

Collaborative leaders can be a positive force within their companies, helping to foster achievement and bolster profitability, according to William Buist.

They have vision, presence, commitment and confidence as central traits, the chief executive of business consultancy firm Abelard Collaborative said. He outlined four ways in which collaborative leadership can help drive success in a business.

The first way stems from the ability to see the company as a whole and recognise the role each worker plays in reaching the goals of the business, according to Mr Buist, who is also the founder of the business development programme the xTen Club.

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He added that when the company leaders articulate how the job of each person impacts the objectives of the organisation, they also help everyone to remain focused and productive.

Secondly, a collaborative leader guides the organisation by example.

“The leaders of a company are generally viewed as the embodiment of the values of that organisation, and employees look to them to learn about behavioural expectations,” Mr Buist said.

“When the officers and managers of an organisation demonstrate their willingness to hear suggestions and collaborate on projects while also showing respect for employees and valuing their contributions, employees will follow suit.”

The third way in which a collaborative leader can inculcate success is through confidence in their employees and trusting them to problem-solve on their own, Mr Buist said, adding that sometimes one of the most important lessons a leader can learn is how to let go.

“Too many leaders make the mistake of micromanaging their organisations. A collaborative leader is someone who feels confident in the hires they made and trusts them to make good decisions,” he said.

Finally, a collaborative leader creates an atmosphere in which open communication is prevalent, which fosters collaboration in others, according to Mr Buist.

He said: “Creating and encouraging a spirit of collaboration will help employees feel comfortable sharing their ideas. For example, when marketing and sales teams get themselves on the same page and collaborate their efforts, businesses can see step change growth in revenue.

“When an organisation has strong collaborative leaders managing the company, the business can reach incredible heights; it will have the tools it needs to innovate and position itself at the forefront of its industry.”

Adviser view

Scott Gallacher, chartered financial planner at Rowley Turton (IFA) Ltd, based in Leicestershire, said: “Open communication is very important in the workplace and cannot be understated. Firms that encourage open and effective communication will probably encounter less problems in the future.”

When it comes to leadership, he said: “You have to get the right balance.

“If someone has a clear direction in which he wants to take his organisation, he has to ensure that the employees are able to have a substantial input to help achieve this goal.

“The sign of a weak leader is one who does not trust the ability of the employees working in the firm and has little or no confidence in their skills.”